REVIEW: ‘Batman Beyond: Neo-Year,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Batman Beyond Neo-Year #2 - But Why Tho

Batman Beyond: Neo-Year #2 is written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, illustrated by Max Dunbar, colored by Sebastian Cheng, and lettered by Aditya Bidikar. It’s published by DC Comics. Following the events of the first issue, Terry McGinnis is struggling to stay one step ahead of the malevolent network that’s become Gotham City as well as its self-proclaimed “Sword.” He opts for a low-tech approach, staying off the radar while encountering threats old and new.

Lanzing and Kelly put Terry through his paces in this issue, turning what were once advantages into obstacles. Chief among them is Terry’s Batsuit. Once a cutting-edge piece of technology, now it’s become a target on his back. This leads him to strip the Batsuit of parts in order to stay out of Gotham’s radar and also make some money since he isn’t working for Bruce Wayne anymore. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Batsuit is slowly running out of gadgets, including Terry’s supply of Batarangs and the fuel in his jet boots. This approach is drastic, but also a great way to shake things up; one of the best ways to make a narrative compelling is to give your protagonist a series of obstacles to overcome, and Lanzing and Kelly take that to heart. It also provides a little insight into their upcoming run on Captain America, which will feature Steve Rogers dealing with a similar problem.

Dunbar takes a new approach to his art, illustrating a series of two-page spreads that detail Terry’s activities as Batman. One sequence shows Terry’s approach to going off the grid, as he builds a trenchcoat that acts as a Faraday cage, essentially making him undetectable to Gotham. Said coat boasts Terry’s trademark colors of red and black thanks to Cheng’s colors and it looks downright cool. Another spread pits Terry against his old enemies the Jokerz, as he runs through a gauntlet of thugs in face pain and macabre smiles. Bidikar’s lettering peppers the fight scene with entries from Terry’s journal, providing a look into the future Batman’s process of dealing with his enemies.

Dunbar and Cheng also create a new character named Gestalt and inject a form of sci-fi horror into the story in the process. For starters, Gestalt is comprised of three beings, all connected by a twisting mass of lime green cables. And later in the issue, those cables unfurl and attach to Terry in an image I can only describe as nightmare fuel. It remains to be seen if Gestalt is friend or foe, but kudos should be given to the creators for creating new characters that fit into the cyberpunk world that Batman Beyond created.

Batman Beyond: Neo-Year #2 continues to put Terry McGinnis through his paces as the creative team strips him of his resources and pits him against new foes. It’s clear Terry is rethinking his entire approach to becoming Batman, but what kind of Batman he will be when the series ends is unclear. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of a new era for Batman Beyond.

Batman Beyond: Neo-Year #2 is available wherever comics are sold.


Batman Beyond: Neo-Year #2
4.5

TL;DR

Batman Beyond: Neo-Year #2 continues to put Terry McGinnis through his paces as the creative team strips him of his resources and pits him against new foes. It’s clear Terry is rethinking his entire approach to becoming Batman, but what kind of Batman he will be when the series ends is unclear. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of a new era for Batman Beyond.